Anyone with so much as a passing interest in fashion knows that Miuccia Prada is the epitome of a trendsetter — between Prada and Miu Miu, some of the most important movements in fashion in the last few decades were born inside her amazing brain. But it hasn't always been easy. In a recent profile for T magazine, she offers a rare look into her enigmatic private life, which includes not just designing for two iconic brands but reveals her passions for art collection, film production, and architecture.
“When I started, fashion was the worst place to be if you were a leftist feminist. It was horrid. I had a prejudice, yes, I always had a problem with it,” says Prada. As both a feminist and, as writer Andrew O'Hagan writes,"unreconstructed socialist," she's always had an inclination towards politics, and says she even feels guilty for not working as a more traditional activist. That's why she considers it a personal responsibility to enact cultural change through the power of fashion, to an extent. "I’m not interested in the silhouette and I’m not able to draw. It’s complicated. I am trying to work out which images of the female I want to analyze. I’m not really interested in clothes or style," she explains.
But Mrs. Prada also acknowledges that she can only go so far. While fashion certainly has its artistry, she notes that hers is a "commercial world," and she can only push the rules so far. She wouldn't, for example, put an older model on the runway, saying only that she doesn't "have the courage.”
The interview goes on to discuss bourgeois rituals (which she hates), and emancipation of the self through clothing (which she loves). While fashion big-wigs are often portrayed as ice-cold monuments to perfection, this profile shows a woman who is a visionary, but still flawed, warm but still willing to challenge. As women, as people interested in fashion and its role in modern society, we're calling this one a must-read. (T)
Photo: Mario Sorrenti/Courtesy of T Magazine.